Duterte gives P18-M cash incentives to Asian Games medalists

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DAVAO CITY (September 13) –— It was a big   day at Malacañang Palace for the Filipino athletes who won medals in the recent Asian Games, no less than the President  handed out more than P18 million as a reward for their efforts in Asian Games held  in Palembang-Jakarta last month.

The Philippine team  bagged a total of 21 medals — four golds, two silvers, and 15 bronze medals — to finish 19th overall in the 45-country multi-sport event.

Duterte congratulated the athletes and their coaches for their efforts in bringing honor and recognition to the Philippines in the field of sports.

A proud father of the country, told the athletes, “I congratulate you all, especially our medalists, for the accomplishment that brought honor to the country. You have prevailed and made our nation proud.”

“I encourage our athletes to focus on improving and to start to be better in the next SEA Games. The government and Filipino people will support you in every step.”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte awards the Presidential citation and incentive to weightlifer Hidilyn Diaz during a ceremony at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on September 12, 2018. Diaz is one of the gold medalists of the Philippine delegation to the recently concluded 18th Asian Games held in Indonesia. Joining the President are Cavite 7th District Representative Abraham Tolentino, Secretary Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. Rey Baniquet/Presidential Photo

Among the gold winners who were present at the Palace were: Nikko Huelgas (triathlon), Samuel Morrison (taekwondo), Mary Joy Tabal (marathon), Kiyomi Watanabe (judo) and Agatha Wong (wushu).

The incentives for the winning athletes were based on  Republic Act 10699,  also known as “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act”

It states, Games gold medalists are entitled to P300,000, silver P150,000 and bronze P60,000.

For teams with 4 or less members, the money will be split evenly for each individual. For teams with 5 or more participants, each player will receive 25% of the individual cash incentive.

A total of P18,037,500 were awarded to medal-winning athletes, while P7,181,250  for coaches.

Dennis Uy, a Davao businessman and presidential adviser for sports, also promised to add P50,000 for the gold medalists; P30,000 for silver; and P10,000 for bronze winners

The Chief Executive said he is optimistic the additional incentives will further motivate the athletes and push them to excel in their chosen sports.

“It is my hope that this will not only further motivate our athletes to work harder, but also find resourcefulness, ways to maximize their potentials, and inspire the rest of the youth to be part of an active and healthy citizenry,” he said.

All the medalists were also given presidential citations for their feats in the 18th Asian Games including Hidilyn Diaz, gold medalist for weightlifting competition; Margielyn Didal, gold medalist for skateboarding competition; Yuka Saso, double gold for Women’s Individual Golf and the Women’s Team Golf; Rogen Ladon, silver medalist for boxing; and Agatha Wong, bronze medalist for Wushu.

Present during the awarding ceremony were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy, Philippine Sports Commission officials led by Chairman William Ramirez, Philippine Olympic Commission officials led by President Victorico Vargas, Asian Games Chief de Mission Richard Gomez, and Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Lee Hiong Tan Wee.

Secretary Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, who is a sports enthusiast and is instrumental in providing the athletes with additional cash incentives, revealed that the Office of the President gave additional cash bonus to all medalists. This, according to Secretary Go, is in addition to the incentives given by the PSC.-Jian A. Padillo/NewsLine.ph

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